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The Rebirth of Affiliate Marketing?

Perry Marshall hosted a teleconference with Super-Affiliate Amit Mehta. Perry and Amit discussed how Google recently banned dozens of affiliate marketers from using Adwords.

Perry titled the call: The Death of Affiliate Marketing on Google and you can find the corresponding blog post here.

Amit stated that in some industries the number of advertisers has been slashed from 50 to 5 as the result of the Adwords bans.

There were other comments made that gave me the impression that Google is or will be banning any and all affiliate marketers from using its advertising service.

Frankly, I think it's a bit premature to think that Google's goal is to rid the World of Affiliate Marketers. My observations indicate that Affiliate Marketing still continues to thrive on Google.

I do know several advertisers who are now banned for life. However, all of the objective evidence indicates that Google is targeting a very narrow category of advertisers – not just people who are doing Affiliate Marketing.

Specifically, all the banned advertisers who I know personally had one thing in common:

They promoted (or were suspected of promoting) a business opportunity (biz-opp) product. Even more specifically, they promoted a biz-opp product which used Google's brand in the product name, e.g. Google Money Tree, Google Profits, Google PayDay, etc.

Google Money Tree could be especially problematic and perhaps the catalyst of the recent activity. A close friend of mine was banned by Google because he used "Google Money Tree" as a keyword.

His training material had nothing to do with Google Money Tree. However, he could not convince Google of his innocence. In other words, a single offensive keyword led to his demise!

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the owners of Google Money Tree were sued just a few months before Google went on its Adwords ban rampage?

My legal background reminds me of the mindset of plaintiff's lawyers. When I worked as an attorney in a civil litigation law firm I quickly learned that plaintiff's lawyers always look for the deepest pockets.

In other words, if there is any way to name the deep pocket as a defendant, a plaintiff's lawyer will figure it out. If I am the plaintiff's lawyer for the consumers who were wronged by the Google Money Tree product, and I know that they used Adwords as a vehicle to promote the product, then I'm going to do all I can to get the $153 Billion Dollar Gorilla on the other side of the table.

As a lawyer advising your client, the primary mindset is cover-your-ass. I would be shocked if Google's attorneys didn't warn the Adwords department of a potential messy lawsuit if they continued to allow advertisers to promote Google type biz opp products.

I'm aware of other non-affiliate advertisers who were banned too. I can only guess that they were unfortunately caught in a wide over-zealous net to catch the real targets.

(This all goes without mentioning how Google probably does not want their brand equity to be used to promote a hyped up biz-opp program).

Otherwise, my own experience as well as conversations with affiliates and account managers tells me that Google still is happy to accept money from Affiliate Marketers in most industries outside of the business opportunity space.

You can see this for yourself. Do a search for just about any product outside of the business opportunity/work from home market and add the word "reviews". You will see that Google is often selling most of this space to affiliate marketers.

For instance, take a look at "web hosting reviews." Five of the top six spots are affiliates.

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